Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara said during a Tuesday interview with MSNBC’s Ari Melber that he considered secretly recording a phone call with President Donald Trump back in 2017.
“While there are critiques of Donald Trump that allege that he is not that informed or not that good at this, your concern was that he might be very informed and trying to cultivate you or involve you in something that you viewed as potentially improper,” Melber stated.
Bharara, who was famously fired by Trump after refusing to resign, answered, “Yeah. I have come to that conclusion over time in the months since. But, in that moment we actually considered, and it sounds not as crazy as it did back then because now we know about Michael Cohen recording the president and Omarosa recording the president.” (RELATED: ‘He’s Not Going To Be Hauled Out In Handcuffs’: Trump-Fired Prosecutor Preet Bharara Says Mueller Won’t Arrest Trump)
“You considered what?” the host followed up.
“Taping the president in that phone call,” Bharara responded. “Yeah, because I wanted to make sure because I had a certain amount of mistrust — it was an odd phone call to be making. It would be my word against his, if he decides to say something inappropriate, which I didn’t necessarily know was going to happen.” (RELATED: Report: Rosenstein Discussed Wearing A Wire In Meetings With Trump)
You know, that’s why this whole debate about whether Rod Rosenstein was joking when he said I’ll wire up the president or not sort of rung in my ear a little bit and I tend to believe that he was not joking. Because there’s been a certain kind of conduct that happens. When you’re used to seeing someone tell untruths about what happens in a conversation and you care about your own integrity, I didn’t want anybody to say, you had some side conversation with the president of the United States. So, we didn’t do that ultimately. We thought that was a bridge too far. We talked about it.
Bharara’s reference to Rosenstein’s offer to wear a wire to record Trump has been a source of contention. Rosenstein has claimed that the suggestion was nothing more than an off-hand remark, but former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe claimed that Rosenstein was “absolutely serious.”
Prior to Bharara’s firing, he created a reputation for successfully going after banks and Wall Street insiders.